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Kiana Sears

Outreach Ucent
Program Director
University Staff, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 3304
Biography: 

 

Kiana Maria Sears serves as the Assistant Director of Faith Based Outreach and Community Partnerships. She is a public administration professional with core competencies in relationship building, nation building, public speaking, public policy and contract negotiations exercised through global, international, national and local opportunities.  She has a unique ability to interface intergovernmental systems and municipalities and enjoys working with legal, regulatory and financial audit professionals. Sears has a diverse background in research, complex problem resolution and creativity, utilizing broad knowledge-base applied in highly regulated industries, higher education and community environments. She has a proven track record of building individual and corporate partnerships to create sustainable funding, advocacy and community support. Ms. Sears  is a high-energy optimist with the belief that if you value people, success will be the by-product.  

Education: 

Master of Public Administration: Human Resources and Management

School of Public Affairs, College of Public Programs, Arizona State University,

BA, Intercultural Communications; Minor-Business Administration: Marketing and Management

Certificate: Regulatory Studies

Institute of Public Utilities(IPU), National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARU) Rate School, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI

 

Honors / Awards: 
  • Awarded the national “Essence Magazine’s - Shirley Chisholm List” for achieving national acclaim for a statewide race that addressed clean energy from a health care disparity crisis.

https://www.essence.com/midterm-elections-2018/kiana-maria-sears-arizona/

 

Professional Associations: 

Active Alumni, Arizona State University Alumni Association, Women in Business

Lecturer, International Delegation Leader-People to People International

 2008 GSE - Ambassadorial Professional to Switzerland, District 5510 Rotary International Foundation

New Troop Sponsor | New Leaders Resource, Arizona Cactus Pine Girl Scouts

Vice President/Political Chair, East ValleyNational Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Annual Conference Committee Member, National Forum of Black Public Administrators 

Alumni Advisory Council  Committee Member, Arizona State University  School of Public Affairs

Fellow, Leading for Change,Center for Civic Engagement 

Glass Fellow, Arizona Anti Defamation League (ADL) Glass Leadership Institute 2017-2018 

Fellow, Valle Del Sol Leadership Institutute

Alumni of Class 41- Valley Leadership Institute 

 

Work History: 

Assistant Director of Faith Based and Community Partnership                10/2018 -Present

  • Established relationships with faith leaders from all religious and non religious based organizations to create an awareness of the programs and resources for students in the K-12 system, to create a college going community around the State, which results in  a pipeline of future Sun Devils.

  • Developed  and implemented customized outreach and student support initiatives designed to meet the needs of underrepresented student populations, which includes interacting and acting as a liaison with students, faculty and staff. 

Statewide Democratic Primary Nominee- Arizona Corporation Commission         1/2017- 11/2018

  • Designed and executed a statewide campaign strategy which included multiple visits to all 15 counties of Arizona, driving over 132,000 miles.
  • Awarded the national “Essence Magazine’s - Shirley Chisholm List” for achieving national acclaim for a statewide race that addressed clean energy from a health care disparity crisis.

  • Achieve victory in the primary election defeating a two term former Corporation Commissioner and advancing on the the General Election where I went on to garner over 1 million votes in a very competitive election.

Elected Official-Mesa Public Schools Governing Board Member                   11/2016- Present

  • The 1st minority to be elected to this seat by canvassing, fundraising and building a coalition.

  • Oversight and appropriation of  the $750  million dollar annual budget.

Executive Consultant, Arizona Corporation Commission, State of Arizona,     1/2008 – 8/2014

  • Testified before the Corporation Commission and client hearings regarding proposed application recommendations and special project information with a majority focus on water and waste water

  • Furnished research and recommendations regarding issues facing the Commission; maintain an awareness of legislation that affects public utilities and all citizens of the State of Arizona  

  • Created Staff Reports that supply recommendations used by the Commissioners to vote on cases from the  Arizona  Department of Environmental Quality, the  Arizona Department of Water Resources and  various county board of supervisors.  Serve as lead staff and  collaborate with three departments of the Commission to enlist the expertise of an accountant, an engineer and an attorney to review subject area of the Staff report that is submitted to the Commissioners

  • Indirectly responsible for the supervision and management of 5 departments with a Staff of 350 employees including managers who are the direct report. These departments include Compliance, Consumer Services, Finance & Rates and Engineering

  • Special projects and cross training has included Rate Making case experience, Rule Making proceedings, Main Line Extension Agreement approvals and Solar Energy Proceedings

Research Staff, Arizona State Senate, Phoenix, Arizona                    8/2001 Session

  • Presented on Senate floor and composed bill summaries (Fact Sheets) for Senators

  • Briefed Senators on bills and made presentations during committee and caucus

  • Drafted amendments and corrections to proposed legislation, including background research

Child Public Policy Intern, Children’s Action Alliance, Phoenix, Arizona         5/1998-5/1999

  • Proposed bill for sponsorship in Arizona State Senate to establish a residential respite placement for children in the foster care system; the Bill was adopted and approved in the 1999 legislative session 

  • Organized grassroots campaign to advocate for Arizona’s children in the foster care system

Corporate Relations Executive, Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW)                      08/2014- 10/2016

  • Face of VSUW for over 70 companies and corporate donors with goal of  $3.5 million dollars

  • Cultivated relationships with companies and individuals( through face to face meetings and presentations) to support financial and engagement goals for the successful implementation of the strategic plan of VSUW. 

  • Supervise Loaned Executives from APS, SRP, Vanguard and Maricopa County College

Realtor (Current Arizona License Inactive), Keller Williams & Legacy Realty        8/2005 - 8/2008

  • Represented both buyers and sellers of residential real estate transactions.  Developed expertise in contract writing and negotiations.Participated in training with HUD, Fair Housing and Title Insurance

  • Negotiated  short sales and coordinated financing options

Online Academic Counselor/ Trainer, University of Phoenix                    5/2006 - 10/2007

  • Team trainer and mentor for 1,200 Southwest Division Academic Counselors

  • Advised students on class selection and requirements; built rapport to enhance retention

Nutrition Educator, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension                      4/ 2000-11/2001

  • Engaged the community by hosting Nutrition Awareness Seminars in order to recruit clients

  • Screened clients to deem eligibility federally funded low income based programs

Youth Outreach Coordinator - Keys Community Center, Promise Fellow - Americorps 1/2000 - 5/2001

  • Furnished expertise to procure funds to establish and  develop Keys Preschool at Keys Community Center,  an onsite child care center and solicited  and received a matching funds contribution from Sears National Bank for operational costs of the center , which is still in existence

  • Organized numerous service projects with this nonprofits to improve the life outcomes of at-risk youth and young adults in South Phoenix neighborhoods

Council Member, Alumni Advisory Council, School of Public Affairs, ASU        1/2013 - Present

  • Recruited public administration leaders (including a current State Senator, Assistant City Manager, and Political Campaign Strategist) to participate in inaugural public programs alumni-student networking and mentoring event; participants became members of first alumni advisory council  to support alumni engagement goals of the school

  • Assist with the implementation and planning of programs that create and add value for public administration, public policy and nonprofit management alumni and community professionals

Steering Committee Board Member, State Employees Charitable Campaign (SECC)    1/2012 – 1/2014

  • Coordinated fundraising and development of  all State agencies and their employees  to  collectively contribute over $621, 376  to  nonprofits affiliated with the SECC

  • Host and presenter for Annual SECC Kickoff Campaign for the Arizona Corporation Commission

Board Member - Kids Committee/ Care  Coordinator  Singleton Mom’s    4/2008 – Present

  • Established partnership with Stardust Foundation for delivery of gifts-in-kind donations from community partners for Bare Necessity Program and developed relationships with Vitamix corporation, procuring $6K worth of Vitamix blenders for single parents in cancer treatment 

  • Organize Kids Committee Event Organizer- Negotiated major discounts and sponsors events from Amazing Jakes, Dave & Buster’s and Arizona Broadway Theatre cost savings of over $22K

Volunteer - Self Esteem Room, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation                3/2004 - 1/2010

Service: 

https://ballotpedia.org/Kiana_Sears

Statewide Democratic Primary Nominee- Arizona Corporation Commission         1/2017- 11/2018

  • Designed and executed a statewide campaign strategy which included multiple visits to all 15 counties of Arizona, driving over 132,000 miles.

  • Awarded the national “Essence Magazine’s - Shirley Chisholm List” for achieving national acclaim for a statewide race that addressed clean energy from a health care disparity crisis.

  • Achieve victory in the primary election defeating a two term former Corporation Commissioner and advancing on the the General Election where I went on to garner over 1 million votes in a very competitive election.

Elected Official-Mesa Public Schools Governing Board Member                   11/2016- Present

  • The 1st minority to be elected to this seat by canvassing, fundraising and building a coalition.

  • Oversight and appropriation of  the $750  million dollar annual budget.

Board: 

Mesa Art Center Foundation

Mesa Unified #4 Governing Board

 

Executive Education Courses: 

Certificate: Regulatory Studies

Institute of Public Utilities(IPU), National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARU) 

Rate School, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI